Akufo-Addo bans use of schools by outsiders for religious programmes
President Nana Akufo-Addo has placed a restriction on the use of school premises by the public for religious activities as Junior High Schools resume academic activities on June 29.
Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) candidates are to return to school on Monday to spend 11 weeks for preparation and revision before taking their final exams.
As part of measures to safeguard students, Mr Akufo-Addo said, “no breaks outside the classroom will be permitted; assemblies and sporting events are banned, and the use by outsiders of school premises for religious and other activities will not be allowed.”
The President also stated that the government had “procured and distributed forty-five thousand (45,000) Veronica Buckets; ninety thousand (90,000) gallons of liquid soap; ninety thousand (90,000) rolls of tissue paper; forty thousand (40,000) thermometer guns; seven hundred and fifty thousand (750,000) pieces of 200 mils sanitisers; and 2.2 million reusable facemasks”.
Students will receive two reusable masks each on their return and a third mask will be issued within the next two weeks.
The items are to help the schools to curtail coronavirus spread and are meant for 750,000 people, comprising 532,000 final year JHS students and 218,000 teaching and non-teaching staff and invigilators in 17,439 schools.
Schools were shut across the country on March 15, following the detection of coronavirus cases in Ghana on March 12.
However, more than three months afterwards, the government has eased restrictions to allow the final years to take their exams in school.
The resumption of JHSs precedes the return of final year students in tertiary institutions and Senior High Schools (SHSs) who are already in school to take their final papers.
Mr Akufo-Addo, who announced this in his 13th coronavirus update, further indicated that students would be limited to 30 per class and sessions would run from 9 am to 1 pm each day.
There will be no breaks outside the classrooms and no assemblies. Furthermore, there will be no sporting activities and no religious programmes on the premises of the schools.
Mr Akufo-Addo also noted that every JHS has been mapped to a hospital to cater for any health needs.
Additionally, through the District Directors of Education and the District Directors of Health, COVID-19 sensitisation programmes will be organised for all headteachers and their teaching staff, from Monday, the first day of school.
Students have also been advised to adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols including wearing of nose masks at all times, regular hand washing and observation of social distancing.